The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will today launch its 2020 election manifesto which will outline its programmes of action in the event it wins a second term in the December polls.
The manifesto, to be launched at the University of Cape Coast in the Central Region, will be the new social contract between the Akufo-Addo-led administration and Ghanaians.
It will set the framework for what we should expect from an NPP (2) administration if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emerges victorious in the presidential election.
The event is expected to be attended by a little over 120 members of the party.
It will be projected virtually for members of the party and the public to watch.
This will be a deviation from the usual outdoor event which thousands of supporters of the party attend.
The restriction in the number of attendees is in line with the observance of strict coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety protocols.
What should we expect?
The NPP and then candidate Akufo-Addo went into the 2016 elections with a manifesto titled: “Change: An Agenda for Jobs, Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All”.
The party is known as a centrist conservative party which believes in the mantra: “property owning democracy”, ostensibly to boost private businesses and drive growth through the private sector.
However, the 2016 manifesto had some major leftist (socialist) policies, such as the free senior high school, One-district, One-factory, Planting for Food and Jobs and the restoration of teacher trainee allowance.
Under its free SHS policy, the NPP said it would “redefine basic education to include SHS, covering vocational, agricultural and technical schools, and make it available for free on a universal basis to all Ghanaians”.
The free SHS policy was implemented one year after President Akufo-Addo took office and it turned out to be the flagship policy of the government.
The other socialist policies were also implemented by the government and have become synonymous with the NPP government.
It is expected that these policies will still feature, albeit with a bit of modification in the 2020 NPP Manifesto.
The Akufo-Addo-led government touts itself as a better manager of the economy and that claim will feature predominantly in the manifesto.
In 2016, the NPP promised to shift the economy from one based on taxation to production. It is that goal that led to major policies such as the reduction of taxes, digitisation of the economy and the massive financial sector reforms.
The 2020 Manifesto will, therefore, include policies that will consolidate these gains and further build an economy that the NPP hopes will be able to meet the expectations of Ghanaians
One major criticism of the Akufo-Addo-led administration by its political opponents is that it has not embarked on many infrastructural projects, in spite of the numerous loans it has contracted.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been hammering the point that the NPP is a government of consumption and not development, in this case infrastructural development.
This has been refuted by the government on numerous occasions.
In a recent Town Hall meeting, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, said the government had implemented different infrastructural programmes of about 17,334 projects since 2017.
“We have completed a total number of 8,746 projects throughout the country, while a further 8,588 projects are at different stages of completion throughout the country,” he said.
Infrastructural development, such as roads, hospitals, schools, among others, will also be another major feature of the manifesto.
After all, many politicians love to be associated with infrastructure development, while the citizenry see such infrastructure as their taxes at work.